The mayor of Austria’s capital city of Vienna condemned racism and discrimination in the country, calling these types of agitation against Muslims worrying.
Michael Ludwig said during an iftar in Vienna that people in Austria should stand together against anti-Muslim agitation and Austrians should not harbour racist or anti-religious sentiment.
Ludwig said Austrians and the country’s Muslim community should make mutual efforts to live together peacefully.
He said Austria officially recognizes Islam and at least 700,000 Muslims reside in the country.
He also noted that seeing people suffering from racism and discrimination for their religious beliefs in Austria is seriously worrying him.
The head of the Islamic community in Austria, Umit Vural, thanked Ludwig for the iftar meal held by the Vienna municipality.
Vural said Muslims are going through hard times in Austria and the country needs conscious politics more than ever during a time when provocations and agitation against Muslims are on the rise.
Vural also spoke about a possible headscarf ban for primary school students in Austria.
He said politics cannot decide on people’s apparel.
A total of 1,920 racist incidents took place in Austria last year, according to a report released in March.
Nearly 60% of the racist and hate-based incidents occurred online, said Austrian NGO Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work (ZARA).
The discriminatory, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies of the far-right government in Austria, which has been in power for over a year, have led to a dramatic increase in racist incidents, according to recent figures.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk